The month of May saw a very slight dip in side income, landing at $57,411.29. Traffic continued soaring past last month’s high bringing in 476,000 readers and just under 585,000 unique sessions in one month (!!!). My blogging business had another great month, and I’ve got a lot to be grateful for.
On the personal side of things last month, we had more time at home in San Francisco than we’ve had all year. It was nice enjoying the end of spring as Shelly & I began checking out wedding venues around the Bay Area!
Now, let’s dig into the numbers… last month saw a small decrease in side income over April, which still drastically exceeded my forecast thanks to solid affiliate commissions from my guide about how to start a blog and another standout month of sustained sales of my premium blogging course, Built to Blog: How to Get Your First 10,000 Readers and Earn Six-Figures Blogging.
Overall, I generated $57,411.29 in side income revenue during May of 2019.
I kept many of my freelance writers busy last month on top of starting a couple big development projects to continue improving my website layout & page load speeds. Net profit for the month came in at $47,726.99.
The Forecast 🌤: For June, I’m expecting side income to drop a bit more, landing around $50,000 – $55,000 with a little variance based on how a few upcoming experiments go. Expenses should remain steady or drop marginally for the month, as my content pipeline is still overflowing with long-form guides that need my editing and publishing.
Now, on to the details of my May side income report…
Side Income in May 2019: $57,411.39
In these monthly reports, I track my total side income every month, including each individual source of that income, and associated expenses with running my side businesses. This is the good and the bad.
Next, I break down the traffic to my blog which heavily impacts my side income, including what’s performing best and how I’m working to drive in more readers. I also cover how many email subscribers I’m at, the number of new subscribers acquired during the month, and what that growth trajectory looks like.
Then I talk about my podcast download numbers for the month, and which episodes performed best.
Finally, I cover updates on any other side projects I’m working on for the month.
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Side Income Breakdown for May 2019
Course & Book Sales (Built to Blog)
Amazon (Business Books)
Podcast Sponsorships (Side Hustle Project)
Web Services – Hosting and Storage
Online Tools & Subscriptions
Podcast Producer (for Feb and Mar)
Quuu Promote (Pre-Paid Annual)
Travel, Office Supplies & Misc
iPhone X Payment Plan
AT&T Service Plan (iPhone)
Uber and Lyft 🚖
Net Profit Breakdown
Now, on to my blog, email and podcast-related statistics.
2. Blog Stats for May 2019: 584,958 Sessions and 106,352 Total Email Subscribers
For the fifth month in a row, I’ve hit a new all-time high in blog traffic, staying above the half a million monthly reader mark. 🎉
I was up in Sessions from April by more than 15%. On top of the sessions increase, I moved up to 736,679 pageviews.
All of my top articles saw increases in traffic during May—due largely to key organic rankings during the month, but in part due to continued performance upgrades on my site thanks to a couple of developers I've been working more with to reduce my page load times.
Overall, I'm up more than 161% in growth year over year compared to May 2018. That increase is directly correlated with several of my most trafficked posts continuing to rank higher in organic search—coupled with increased activity on Pinterest that's resulted in more traffic.
Here are my top 15 trafficked posts from May, ranked in descending order of which drove the most readers:
- business ideas
- freelance jobs
- how to start a blog (most attributable revenue for the month)
- make money online
- motivational quotes
- remote job
- business books
- how to freelance
- business advice
- freelance contract
- work from home jobs
- freelance proposals
- best remote jobs websites
- business slang
- how to sell phone cases
May saw another steady flow of traffic to my 24,000+ word guide, 10 Steps to Start a Blog on the Side—which remained in the top few ranking positions in searches for competitive terms like how to start a blog, how to blog, and other related terms that get a lot of activity this time of year.
And the best part about that? As more readers land on this post, more are joining my free course, How to Build a Blog in 7 Days and are offered an opportunity to join my more advanced, comprehensive paid Built to Blog course that'll help them level up their blogging journey even more.
Also in May, I published two insanely epic new guides for my growing audience of bloggers:
- 101 Best Blog Post Ideas That’ll (Actually) Drive Massive Traffic in 2019
- 11 Steps How to Write a Blog Post (People Will Actually Want to Read) in 2019: Free Blog Post Template
Both coming in at well over the 10,000 word mark, together these guides break down both how I come up with smart (research-based) topics to write about that I know my audience will love and exactly what my writing process looks like behind the scenes—including a free template you can download and put to work in your own writing process.
The game plan is to continue publishing a higher volume of in-depth content throughout 2019 to help diversify my passive income streams and keep bringing more new readers to the blog.
2. Email Subscribers.
I use ConvertKit to manage my email subscriber community and deliver my emails.
April saw the addition of 7,942 subscribers to my community with my total list size growing to 106,352 subscribers 🎉
Despite a marked slow down in sign ups toward the end of the month due to some shifting around in organic traffic rankings (and a few optimizations on-site), I still saw a near record growth month in new email subscribers. Much of my new subscriber growth continues to be fueled by my new free course, Build a Blog in 7 Days which is well-optimized for both affiliate revenue—and for offering my more advanced paid course (Built to Blog).
3. Podcast Downloads for May 2019: 20,407 Downloads
My podcast, The Side Hustle Project is remaining pretty steady with decent monthly growth.
And with 20,407 downloads, last month was a sizable gain above April's figures.
Here are the episodes that went live last month:
- #110: How to Launch a Virtual Summit with Liam Austin of Entrepreneurs HQ
- #111: How to Monetize a Niche Blog and Generate $55,000 (in 1 Week) with Mike Pearson
- #112: How to Make $124,389.82 Blogging (in 1 Month) with Alex Nerney of Create and Go
- #113: How Kevin Pugar Started a $40,000 Side Business Selling Handmade Sunglasses
- #114: B2B Freelance Writer Elise Dopson on Growing a Freelance Business
May brought my total download numbers for the show to 278,180 downloads!
If you're not a listener yet, give it a try right here 🙂
That's it for my May side income report.
For June, I'm predicting side income to drop a bit—down to around $50,000 - $55,000 as I see a little taper in my affiliate commissions coming down the pipeline and extending further into the summer. A major focus of mine for the coming six months is to diversify my passive income streams (affiliates, course sales, book sales, and otherwise) and eventually hit my first six-figure month by March of 2020.
I’ll keep sharing everything I learn along the way!
If you're looking for some additional reading to help grow your own blog (on the side), I recently launched a 24,000 word free guide to building and scaling a profitable blog right here that I'd love for you to read 😊